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Published: November 7th 2009
So, now I’ve had every vaccination under the sun - even a dose of swine flu! and am on the brink of giving up the glamour of Mayfair, I look set to take off next weekend to Nairobi for the first of three overland journeys:
November to February Nairobi, Kenya to Cape Town, SA
February to April Kathmandu, Nepal to Tokyo, Japan
May to Sept San Jose, Costa Rica to Mexico City, (& Barbados, baby!)
As several of you have warned me, I expect my plans will change - and if the preparation period is anything to go by, the trip’s going to be exciting, challenging and unpredictable. With this in mind, I begin in Kenya, so that I can be sure to visit two charity organisations that have made a real impression on me over the last couple of years:
Many of you very kindly donated money when I climbed Mont Blanc last year for Sense International (www.senseinternational.org.uk). In many ways, trip was a turning point in my outlook and motivations, and the UK based part of the organisation works tirelessly to keep supporters informed, and to raise funds and awareness for the rest of the organisation to put to work. So, I am really excited to be visiting a school in Nairobi for the first week of my trip to see for myself the transforming effect that Sense International’s support has for deafblind children and their families.
The other organisation is Excellent Development (www.excellentdevelopment.com). This small, but increasingly recognised charity provides vital support to registered self-help groups in severely drought effected parts of south east Kenya. This means resources for sand dams to preserve water, terracing for growing crops, planting trees and assistance in instituting effective sustainable life cycles for natural resources, impacting food production, health and income. Thames River Capital Charitable Trust provided some emergency funds this year for grain and basic nutritional needs so that work can continue at projects in their early stages, and I'm hoping to roll up my sleeves to lend a hand in the field whilst visiting various projects.
So, that’s just the beginning, and I’ve set up this blog to share all the ‘best bits’ of my experiences. I will of course be taking safaris, overland trucks, local ferries etc etc, but I’ll not be writing about timetables, paperwork and bus delays - and most definitely, I’ll be making the most of being ‘away from the desk’! I’m really excited that I’ll be seeing some of you along the way, and I hope the rest of you will stay in touch because I don’t want to have to miss you all too much - it’s only 10 measly months!
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